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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Erica Nikolaisen
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 semesters
Internship Available:
Program Specific Scholarships:
CIEE Global Institute Grant
Fields of Study:
Accounting, Art History, Business, Communications, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, French, German, Global Studies, Health and Human Development, Health Policy and Administration, History, International Business, Internship, Italian, Journalism, Literature, Management, Marketing, Media Studies, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Sustainability
Program Description:



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 

Program Description 

The CIEE Global Institutes offer a unique opportunity for students to build their ideal program from five locations in order to maximize immersion and intensive study. The Global Institutes offers an Open Campus model which allows students to study in one or more  of the following locations; Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Students choose two or three academic blocks, which are 6 weeks in length, from any combination of the five locations offered. Select your academic track from five diverse options and then choose electives from a wide range of offerings. 


Academic Year: mid August - mid May
Fall: mid August- early May
Spring: early January - mid May

The dates above are applicable to students who complete 3 blocks. Student who complete 2 blocks will end approximately 6 weeks earlier. Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available. 


Students can choose up to three locations of the following campuses: 

Global Institute - Berlin Campus

Live and learn in the heart of Kreuzberg, one of Berlin’s liveliest and culturally rich districts. Unpack in the brand new residence hall, take courses in state-of-the-art classrooms, grab a snack at the CIEE Café’, rent sports equipment at our Discover Berlin Office – everything’s right on campus! Plus, a large public market, scores of restaurants, and a variety of shops are just a few minutes’ walk away. Learn more about the Berlin Open Campus Program.

Global Institute - London Campus

Get to know the British way of life in Bloomsbury, one of central London’s most student-populated neighborhoods. Take courses at Hamilton House, which features modern classrooms, comfortable kitchen and lounge areas, and a café. Hang up your coat at the nearby residence hall, located within walking distance of the British Museum, British Library, one of the city’s largest Royal Parks, and more. Learn more about the London Open Campus Program.

Global Institute - Madrid Campus

The CIEE Madrid Open Campus is centrally located near the Plaza de Sol where you’ll be immersed in Spanish language, culture, and people. Co-curricular and extra-curricular outings are included in the program to help students learn more about Madrid, Spain and Europe’s influence on the world. Madrid’s influence in politics, education, science, entertainment, media, fashion, and arts make it an important international metropolis, and the major hub in southern Europe. Spain’s capital city is also its largest, with a historic center dating back to the Hapsburg Empire, and world-renowned art museums. A huge variety of tapas bars, dance shows, concerts, parks, soccer matches, bustling neighborhoods, and contemporary theater and cinema make it a lively place to live and learn.  Learn more about the Madrid Open Campus Program

Global Institute - Paris Campus

The CIEE Paris Open Campus is less than a minute away from the Grands Boulevards, a 10-minute walk to the Palais Royal, and a 15-minute walk to the Louvre.Students will be housed within or on the very close outskirts of the city of Paris with easy access to CIEE host institutions, and the CIEE Paris Open Campus.  The center has 4 classrooms, library space, a small computer area for student use, in addition to staff offices. The Open Campus program in Paris is designed to offer students the option to take one direct enrollment course (hybrid model) at a local host institution allowing students to take a course alongside local students. Learn more about the Paris Open Campus Program.

Global Institute - Rome Campus

The CIEE Global Institute Rome Campus is located in the Prati neighborhood, right at the heart of Rome. Just a few minutes away from the historical center, and a fifteen minute walk to the Vatican City, Prati is filled with great authentic Roman trattorie and great restaurants and bars where one can go and listen to some live music. Other historical sites which are within walking distance include the Spanish steps, Piazza Navona or Campo di Fiore. The CIEE center features modern classrooms, as well as a student lounge area. Classrooms are designed to ensure the comfort and quality for a successful academic experience. Learn more about the Rome Open Campus Program.

CIEE Global Institutes in other locations are not approved for Penn State students.

Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation

In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.


Available Fields of Study

Accounting, Art History, Business, Communications, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, French, German, Global Studies, Health and Human Development, Health Policy and Administration, History, International Business, Internship, Italian, Journalism, Literature, Management, Marketing, Media Studies, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Sustainability

Course Listings

To find courses on the CIEE Global Institutes program, follow the instructions on the host program page.

To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed. 

Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on the host program page before choosing a program.

Course Selection

To find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses available on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements 
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
  • To register for courses on this program you will work with your host program

Academic Tracks

Students can choose from one of five academic tracks in any of the open campus locations. The five tracks are offered across all four locations; Rome, Paris, London, and Berlin. To learn more about the academic course offerings on this program visit the CIEE Global Institutes website. Students can choose from the following tracks:
  • Business
  • Communications, Journalism, and New Media
  • Health Sciences
  • International Relations and Political Science
  • Language, Literature, and Culture

Academic Block System

Students take two courses per block for 2-3 blocks allowing students flexibility in their studies as well as travel locations. Each block is 6 weeks long and students earn 6 credits per block. Students can choose to participate in up to three blocks in a single location, or mix and match blocks at the four centers to build their ideal program. Students are required to take 6 credits per block. 

Two Academic Blocks - 12 Credits
  • Two courses per block
  • At least two courses in the chosen academic track
  • Two additional CIEE electives
  • CIEE Academic Project is optional during the second academic block
Three Academic Blocks - 18 Credits
  • Two courses per block
  • At least two courses in the chosen academic track
  • Four additional CIEE electives
  • CIEE Academic Project is optional during second or third academic blocks

CIEE Academic Projects

CIEE Academic Projects are approximately 100-120 total hours of field-based work/internship, service-learning, or independent research hours, plus 15 seminar hours and meetings with CIEE faculty advisors, for 3 semester credits.  Students applying for an Academic Project will be required to submit additional materials during the course selection process. To qualify for participation, students must be in the location for at least one block in advance of the Academic Project in order to prepare for and plan the placement. As a result, students participate in an Academic Project in either block II or III and will stay in the same location for 2 consecutive blocks.

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum number of 12 credits and a maximum number of 18 credits
  • Students are required to take 2 courses per block
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
  • You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation 

Course Equivalency Process

In order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Global Programs website for information on the course equivalency process.  

Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.

Grade and Credit Conversion Scale

Grades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
Grade Conversion Scale
Host Institution Grade Penn State Grade
 A A
 A- A-
 B+ B+
 B B
 B- B-
 C+ C+
 C C
 D D
 F F
Credit Conversion Scale
Host Institution Credit Penn State Credit
 3 Credits  3 Credits

Housing and Meals


Housing is guaranteed and included in the program. Housing options will vary depending on the locations that are chosen. 


Residence hall 
Most students live in an on-campus residence hall with a mix of CIEE students and resident assistants. Students live in double, triple, or quad rooms with en-suite bathrooms and shower facilities. Lounges and kitchens allow students to mingle over meals, cultural activities, study groups, and special events. They are shared spaces, with students enjoying the benefits but also the responsibility of taking care of them. Larger common areas are on the ground floor and inner courtyards offer comfortable spaces to work and relax.Students can prepare their own meals in the full kitchens. CIEE provides basic cooking utensils and cleaning supplies. Students also may get coffee, tea, soft drinks, snacks, and sandwiches at the on-site café, or explore the myriad restaurants in the Kreuzberg neighborhood.

A limited number of homestays are available, with preference given to those whose universities require living with a local family. Students can indicate their preferences in the pre-departure housing survey. Students who live with homestay families receive breakfast and dinner daily.

Students may also be housed in shared apartments. Final housing assignments are solely at the discretion of CIEE.Students can prepare their own meals in the full kitchens.


Students will live in either residence halls or shared apartments centrally located in Bloomsbury, Farringdon, or Kings Cross. Students will share twin or triple rooms. No meals are provided in student housing but students will have access to kitchen facilities to cook their own meals.


Host homes and shared apartments are located in central Madrid. All students will be living within a 30 minute or less commute via public transportation to the CIEE Global Institute.

Students can live with Spanish hosts – a great way to absorb maximum language and culture, and create lasting friendships. Hosts range from families to individuals, and welcome one or two CIEE students. Each student has a private bedroom and shared kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities. Hosts provide breakfast plus another meal per day. Students can purchase the rest of their meals from supermarkets, cafeterias, or restaurants near the Global Institute.

Shared apartments
Students can live with other CIEE students and a Spanish student with apartments that have single or double rooms. Utilities, cleaning, laundry facilities, and Internet access are included. Meals are not included. Students prepare meals in their apartments or purchase affordable meals in their neighborhood at supermarkets, cafeterias, etc.


Shared Apartments
Most students live in shared apartments in Paris with other CIEE Open Campus students. Student apartments are located throughout the city but will be within a 45-minute commute of the Global Institute. Meals are not provided for students staying in apartments. Each apartment has its own kitchen where students may prepare their meals.Students living in shared apartments with other CIEE Paris students can experience a homestay with a Parisian host by signing up for a weekend homestay. This opportunity allows students to experience the traditions and daily rituals of French life with local Parisians!

A limited number of homestays may be available, with preference given to those whose universities require living with a local family. Students who live with homestay families receive breakfast daily plus five additional meals per week.


Students share apartments in historic buildings in Prati or Trastevere. Apartments will be located in safe residential areas, close to markets, shops, restaurants, and public transportation. Apartments house 4-7 CIEE students in double or triple bedrooms and some students may also share their apartment with a local student – known as Buddies, from the Roma Tre University. Apartments are within walking distance or a short commute of the CIEE Global Institute. Students share apartments in historic buildings in Prati or Trastevere. Apartments will be located in safe residential areas, close to markets, shops, restaurants, and public transportation. Apartments house 4-7 CIEE students in double or triple bedrooms and some students may also share their apartment with a local student – known as Buddies, from the Roma Tre University. Apartments are within walking distance or a short commute of the CIEE Global Institute.

Independent housing is not permitted on this program. There will be no exceptions. 


Meals are typically not included in apartment or residence hall options. Some meals are usually included in homestays. Refer to the above descriptions for specific details.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Fall Costs
Spring Costs

Program costs vary depending on the number of blocks chosen. Refer to the notes section of the Budget Sheets for specific details. 

The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Program Specific Scholarships
Scholarship Estimated Amounts Notes & Eligibility
CIEE Global Institutes Scholarship $1,000 - $4,000 Students who participate in 2 or more locations will automatically be considered for a $6,000 grant. Students who participate in a single location will automatically be considered for a $4,000 grant. A separate scholarship application is not required. 
CIEE & Penn State Scholarships $1,000 - $4,000 Students who apply to a CIEE program are automatically considered for a CIEE & Penn State Scholarship. A separate scholarship application is not required.
Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Travel Grants $750 - $2,000 Students who receive a federal Pell grant are guaranteed this award, which can be used toward the cost of airfare if the CIEE application is submitted by the deadline. Application submitted through CIEE.
CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant $1,000 - $2,500 Students who receive a federal Pell grant and show proof of application to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship are guaranteed a grant. Application submitted through CIEE. 
Learn more about other CIEE scholarships by reviewing the Scholarships & Grants section of CIEE's website.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid

Withdrawal & Refund Policy 

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred. 

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.

After the Start of the Program 

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information 

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.


Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Program Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website. 

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website. 


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.

Contact Education Abroad 

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website. 

Education Abroad Advisers 

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website

Social Media

Facebook   Snapchat   Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter   Flickr   Youtube

For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/15/2018
Rolling Admission 08/12/2019 12/14/2019
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing
Fall 2019 03/01/2019
03/13/2019 TBA TBA
Spring 2020 09/10/2019
Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed